“Cuban style”

Trinidad Cuba October 2017 (12 photos)

This is part 3 of my Cuba 2017 photo series.

Let’s leave Havana for a moment. And if you’re going to visit Cuba, I do recommend you taking the time to get out of Havana and visiting a regional area, if you are able to.

When one hears of Trinidad, one tends to think of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Well at least I did.

“Trinidad Cuba – the view from the roof of my casa particular”

However there is also a town named Trinidad in southern central Cuba in the province of Sancti Spรญritus, close to the Caribbean coastline of Cuba. Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988.

“At the doorstep of giants”

Trinidad is one of Cuba’s best preserved colonial towns with colourful buildings and cobblestone streets. Its neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings.

“How much is that doggy in the window?”

I spent 3 days in Trinidad. It is as far east as I went in Cuba. Formerly, sugar was the main industry here. Now it’s tobacco.

“United colours of Trinidad”


As with all parts of Cuba that I visited, images of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the Revolution are not hard to find. The mural above was in the playground of a revolutionary primary school museum that I wandered into by chance. The curator was half asleep. My appearance startled him but he kindly let me wander and take photos everywhere. I didn’t understand much of what he tried to tell me. I just nodded and smiled every so often. I gave him CUC$10 for his time even though there was no admission fee. He was incredibly grateful.

“Yo soy Fidel”

I am Fidel.

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension.”

But as in the rest of Cuba, dilapidation and grunge is easy to find.

“Downtown Trinidad”

“Cowboy of the Caribbean”

I didn’t see any pirates in the Caribbean but I did see this cowboy standing on a corner. I went up to speak to him, continuing my experimentation with interacting with the locals before taking their photo, as detailed in my previous post Our Man In Havana. I like how he just looked into the distance rather than at my camera after he agreed to let me photograph him.

Then I saw a horse tied up outside a house. In fact it was a barber shop and there was a cowboy getting a haircut inside. I was going to walk away after photographing the horse but after a few seconds of hesitation I thought, what the heck. So I walked straight into the barber shop and gave my usual spiel to the cowboy:

Hola! Soy de Australia. Puedo tomar te foto, por favor?

He nodded and raised his index finger which I understood to mean he wanted payment of CUC$1. I had no problem with that. Afterall, I had just interrupted his haircut.

After taking a few photos, I gave him $1. I even gave the barber $1 even though he didn’t ask for it. There was also another guy waiting for a haircut. I took his photo as well and gave him $1 – after all I didn’t want him to feel left out. I think I gave Australians a good name in Trinidad.

Does anyone else think my blog is starting to look like an excerpt from the National Geographic magazine?

Update: My Cuba post Havana good time has now been featured on WordPress’ Discover site. My thanks to the editorial team.

This is part 3 of my Cuba 2017 photo series.

Click here for part 1 of my Cuba 2017 photo series.

This is part 3 of my photo series of my 2017 trip to the USA, Mexico, Cuba, and Canada.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Trinidad Tales (1)


91 thoughts on “Trinidad Tales (1)

  1. Meg says:

    Enjoyed your photos, as ever Draco. And those striking blues! What makes that colour so intense? Is the light different from Australia? M

    • Blues, greens, pinks and oranges are common in Cuba on buildings and cars. They’re striking alone and in combination. Maybe it’s the tint and light in combination. I don’t know but it’s very characteristic.

  2. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    yes National Geographic will be after your talents – especially as you are getting right in to the atmosphere with permissive candid shots

  3. It does look like Cuba still largely embraces – and stuck – in the past. You see it in the buildings, the people, the streets where it seems the locals are proud of their culture. Not that it’s a bad thing. To many of us in the developed Western world, this pace of life is something different altogether. Yes, can see how this can easily be part of a National Geographic publication. Smooth and sharp ๐Ÿ˜€ Congrats on the Discover feature ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Many thanks, Mabel. Cuba is stuck in the past by the US embargo against them. It’s fascinating to experience and see, but I hope their conditions improve. I enjoyed being there and experiencing everything Cuba had to offer.

  4. I have to agree with Laura. These are wonderful shots – never mind National Geographic, your cowboy could be in a fashion magazine! A very colourful post LD ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks kindly, Jude. I wasn’t sure about photographing him because his shirt was “wrong” for a cowboy but he made a great subject anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Colour is everywhere in Cuba. I think it’s fabulous to see.

  5. Next time yuo have to go more far to the east. Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa worth it. Santiago is the most traditional city, It is call ยจThe revolutionยดs cradleยจ. Baracoa was the first village build by spaniard.
    Just a suggestiรณn.
    Your travel, your pic and now your post are amazing. Thanks for them.

    • Thank you very much. You are not the first Cuban to tell me I should go further east to Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa. Now, I have reason to return there. Images I’ve seen on the internet tempt me there.

  6. J.D. Riso says:

    They seem so naturally photogenic over there. You’re better than National Geo, in my opinion. Just as talented, but more down-to-Earth and approachable. ๐Ÿ™‚ I saw that you were featured on Discover. So well-deserved.

  7. Wonderful, colourful Cuba! Congrats on the feature on Discover as well. I really admire your way of walking up to people for a photograph. Totally love the cowboy and the barbershop shots.

    • Thank you very much, Leya. The people in Cuba are vey friendly. The worst that could happen is they say no. However, most people said yes. I couldn’t leave without asking. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Yes, the entire series ought to be on NG and all the top travel magazines in the world!! Love the colors of the car, door, wall, and houses you captured. The dog seems happy there. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m impressed with your Spanish, very cool! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Muchas gracias, Dragon!

    • You’re too kind, Amy. Maybe I’ll change my blog’s name to National Dracographic. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
      Cuba is very colourful. It’s everywhere and it suits the subtropical climate. There’s so much to photograph there.
      A little bit of Spanish helped to bridge the cultural gap just a bit. The camera took me the rest of the way.

      • I love the blog name, Dragon!
        So glad you took this grand trip to these many places and this far., and had such a great time meeting people and taking photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Thank you very much, Amy. It was a full on experience in Cuba and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

          Update: My lawyers advise me not to change my blog name. A lawsuit from NG would not be a pleasant thing. LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. The fascination continues I can understand you being in the discover series these images are so colourful and happy. That little grey door fascinates me, the block of wood at the bottom, is it to keep it from swinging open, and why does the plaster stop and expose the grey bricks. Was there once a bigger door in the space??? It intrigues me as does the other great big door. In fact every photo spins a story I love them all. Hope you have lots more to show us…

  10. These are such wonderful photographs, Lignum!
    It looks like everything is so colorful there, and you have captured that so beautifully.
    Thank you for sharing here.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  11. I also thought about the Caribbean Trinidad – wondered why you suddenly zoomed off else where in the middle of your Cuba series! Now I know.

    What stands out for me in this series of photos is the colour! So vibrant and amazing!

    I love the 2 doors you featured. Both are surreal in their own ways.

    And that story in the barbershop! Priceless!

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